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Alaska Cruise

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Alaska Cruise

We are planning an Alaska cruise/land tour in either May, June, July, or August. We have been told some times, especially May, are not good for sightseeing from the ship due to fog, mist, and low lying clouds. Can anyone verify this? Are there other times when the weather is bad for sightseeing? Are there any particular "best" times? Also, what are the best times, weatherwise, to see Mt. McKinley? When traveling between Anchorage and Fairbanks, is more train and less motorcoach better, or vice versa.

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1. Re: Alaska Cruise

Hi there. I'll try to answer some of your questions. May is still springtime in Alaska, but the land varies so much that it is impossible to give generalizations about the weather. The climate is very different in Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Barrow, to name the population centers of each major climate area. I would imagine the Southeast area (by Juneau) would still be rainy and foggy in May. Fairbanks is still waking up at that time of year, and Anchorage will be a little muddy with the thawing. The advantage of going at that time is fewer people.

July and August are the peak tourism months and the place does get crowded. It depends on what you are looking for - wildlife or sunshine.

Mount McKinley is another story. There is no best time to see the mtn as the weather up there is capricious. You will see so much wildlife in the park, and so much of all the huge mountains around there that you will have a great time. Some people are very interested in seeing the very tippy top of the mountain, but my advice is to go when convenient, enjoy the awesomely beautiful scenery and count yourself lucky if you see the whole mountain. The best view in my opinion is driving north on the highway from Anchorage to Fairbanks, where you can see the mountain jutting up from the rest of the range ahead of you on the road.

The train is a fun experience, but it does take about 1/3 to 1/2 times longer than driving. I would suggest more motorcoach if you have a choice.

Have fun!